Estes was born Loyd Estes Tarver III in Lexington, Kentucky. The works he is best known for include The Detour, Under the Dome, and Changeover. Today he works out of Raleigh, NC as an actor, director, writer, and producer. In addition, he is the artistic director of the Moonlight Stage Company, a black box theatre dedicated to new works. Tarver coaches professional actors; he has taught acting at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory. He has an MFA in acting from UNC-Chapel Hill and has students regularly acting in stage, film, and television.